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Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Jackson's withdrawal another hit for Vols

By Chris Low

The withdrawal of Tennessee safety Janzen Jackson from school earlier this week is another reminder of how inexact recruiting rankings can be.

Jackson, easily one of the Vols’ best returning players, has been battling ongoing personal issues. The university announced that it was hopeful he could get those issues straightened out to the point where he could return to the team in the fall, but there’s no guarantee. He would need a waiver from the NCAA to do so.

If Jackson doesn’t make it back, he’s yet another member of that 2009 signing class (Lane Kiffin’s only class at Tennessee) that has left the program prematurely.

Go back and see what happened to the guys that made that a top 10 class nationally.

In fact, the Vols signed six ESPNU 150 prospects that year, and none of the six will be around when the Vols kick off spring practice in March. Again, Jackson has a chance to make it back, but linebacker Jerod Askew was dismissed from the team this week for violating team rules.

Receiver Nu’Keese Richardson and safety Darren Myles were both arrested in separate incidents and kicked off the team following their freshman seasons at Tennessee. Running back Bryce Brown also left the team following his freshman season and has since transferred to Kansas State. Running back David Oku played the past two seasons, but announced last month that he plans to transfer.

Cornerback Mike Edwards was also arrested and dismissed from the team following his freshman season, while receiver James Green failed to qualify academically and never made it to school.

With Jackson in limbo for next season, it’s no surprise that the Vols signed two junior college defensive backs in this class. Byron Moore and Izauea Lanier could both end up starting from the first game on next season in the Vols’ secondary.